Saturday, February 11, 2012

How To Be Creative

"I wish I could do stuff like that, but I just don't have an ounce of creativity in me!"

That is a phrase that I hear all too often. Is that you? Well, my hope with this post is to change your mind on that one.

It is my personal belief that creativity is something everyone has and it's sort of like a little muscle. Like any other muscle in your body, you have to use it and take care of it if you want it to grow and be strong. Also like any other muscle in your body, you have to start small and take it slow with your work outs if you don't want to burn it out and exhaust it.

Here are a few tips pulled from my own experience when working with creativity (both of mine and of others'). Hopefully they can help to rekindle that little spark of creativity within you as well!


ONE: CREATE THINGS


This one may seem redundant but it's like I said earlier. You have to exercise that muscle if you want it to get stronger. Sometimes it's not enough to just sit around all day and think up grand ideas. You have to actually get your hands dirty in order to "exercise" and get more creative. The more you create, the more it will empower you, boost your confidence, and give you experience to build off of.

So get to it. Any little thing will help. Try freewriting. Write something new everyday, like in a journal or something. Doodle on every scrap you ever lay eyes on. Get some scissors and glue and collage the crap out of an old magazine. Make lists about everything: projects you want to do, things you want to experience before you die, places you want to go. Force yourself to think and force yourself to get a little something done every day. Before you know it that daily little something will be a big, beautiful something.

Oh, and be a scientist. Experiment with things. Delve into things you've never tried before and see what happens.

TWO: EASY DOES IT


Also, like I said earlier, you have to start small and take it slow. You wouldn't want to try benching hundreds of pounds on your first try if you've never before lifted a weight in your life. You also wouldn't want to try painting the next Mona Lisa if you've never before held a paintbrush in your life. It's okay, you can even start with finger paints for goodness sake. You've got to start somewhere, so start somewhere basic. Just play with the colors, see what happens when you mix red and yellow. Who cares? Maybe something neat will happen. Then you'll want to keep going. Then maybe something even neater will happen! But whatever you do, take on projects that you know you can finish.

If you aim too high, it's all too likely that you'll get discouraged and easily bored of a project because it is just too daunting. It's happened to me way too many times. I get really excited about a really big project that I've started and I don't let myself take a break. Then I get tired of it because it's too hard and it's taking too long. So then it gets shoved to the back of the closet and forgotten forever. Don't do this to yourself. Just take it nice and easy!

THREE: GET INSPIRED


I read somewhere once that there is no original idea. No matter what you do, it's probably already been done before. Now, obviously this isn't always the case. But the point was that it's okay if you don't come up with a completely original idea because there is always room for improvement. If it's not original, just do it better, make it your own.

So go for it. Look around you and get inspired by things you see. Your ideas don't all have to be born out of nothing in the deep, dark depths of your own head. Take the best bits and pieces of all that you see and put them all together. When you see something you like, ask yourself: "What is it about this that I love and what would I do different to make it perfect for me?"

FOUR: BE A GOOD SPORT


So maybe that thing you just made is hideous and completely non-functional. Whatever, just laugh at it and keep going! Don't be a sore loser. Go back to your list of "Projects You Can And Will Finish" and start the next thing on the list. Or go browse around and see if you find anything that sets off a light bulb in your head, a way to fix your latest oops.

Just don't blame your supposed lack of creativity for a disappointing end result. Everything you create, whether it be pretty or ugly, is more experience under your belt. Have the courage to keep going. You'll be glad you that you did!

FIVE: DE-SCREEN YOURSELF


This might be the most important piece of advice I can give. Turn off your TV. Step away from the screen. Eliminate media from your life as much as possible. Screens suck you in and spit you out, making you wonder where all your time went. And what was it wasted on? "Reality" television?

Go outside. Talk to people. Walk in nature. Experience actual reality. It will open your mind in ways you never would have dreamed. It's amazing what this seemingly simple shift in your life can do for you. It will give you so much time and so much freedom within your own mind. It will pave the road for your creative chariot to charge down.




Now go forth and create! Every single thing you create is a piece of your soul, manifested in the world for all to see and feel. Immerse yourself in your creations and share them with anyone and everyone. Have fun!

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for stopping by Aprons & Ambitions today. I'm so glad you came.

    This is an amazing post and explains so well what I want to say to everyone who claims that "I'll never be as creative as you..." Beautifully written and inspiring!

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  2. I love, love, love this post and am going to post a link to it on my blog. I've been trying to learn to be okay with the fact that not everything turns out the way I want it to and that I'm not always going to make it perfectly the first time. And more than likely the person whose project I'm recreating didn't either! I think sometimes when all we see online is the finished product in all it's glory, we assume there were no issues in getting to that point!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! It's true, even the best make mistakes sometimes :) it's how we learn!

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